When I was starting PIVOT, I had someone very close to me tell me that I should wait until I “looked the part.” Here I was talking about health and wellness, and I am obese. Why would anyone want to learn about health and wellness if the person telling them didn’t look like they took their own advice? Hearing that comment made me doubt what I was doing and contributed to my own negative internal narrative. The “imposter syndrome” was telling me I wasn’t good enough to speak on health and nutrition. Why would anyone want advice about nutrition from someone who looked like me? I was (and sometimes still am) scared to put this information out there. But what if I’m the voice someone needs?
Well. It took decades of abuse, eating the wrong foods, taking the wrong medicines, and being exposed to toxins to become that obese person. Why wouldn’t it take time to reverse the abuse? Our bodies are amazingly resilient, but they don’t change overnight. It takes time, consistency, diligence (good or bad). For the better part of 2 decades, I have been trying to do the right things, eat the right foods, lose weight, and feel better, but I had been given the wrong information. “Experts” had told me incorrect information for my body and following their advice had made things worse.
When I look back over the last 20 or so years, I know that I am a different person, now. Is every day perfect? No. Do I always follow what I know is right? No. Am I still obese? Yes. However, by working on consistently eating more vegetables, better fats, moderate protein, getting up and moving, I am starting to see a difference. I have more energy, less depression, and I usually sleep better. I was showing signs of insulin resistance, fatty liver, and had debilitating joint pain. After implementing changes and ignoring "the expert” advice, I have reversed my fatty liver and reduced insulin resistance. I no longer live in pain every single day. My hormones are starting to balance out, and the shape of my body is slowly changing. My face isn’t as puffy. I no longer feel bloated and sluggish after eating. Isn’t this information that other people could use? As a healthcare professional, don’t I have an obligation to speak up?
So, I pushed through “imposter syndrome” to speak up about the bad advice that is out there. I have a voice and I can use it. I may not look the part of a “health and wellness coach”, but I see the damage being done by so called “experts” in nutrition. I see the guidelines still tell people to eat grains like wheat, corn, and barley despite evidence that they can damage our gut. I see so much sugar in our Standard American Diet and rising obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease. I see diseases that are caused by chronic inflammation, which is happening because of the foods we are eating. I see medications causing micronutrient depletions that lead to side effects and more medications. I see the link between gut health and overall health, and I must speak up. Do I have all the answers? No. But I must speak up about what I do know.
I see our broken medical system, our broken people. It makes me sad to see so many exploited by pharmaceutical companies, the food industry, the insurance companies. The links are all there. We must have insurance to afford the medical care and prescriptions we are given for the chronic conditions we have because of the foods we eat. Do you see it, too?
Is anyone looking for the root causes of disease? YES! Functional medicine practitioners look for root causes, but their voices are being muffled by the deeper pockets of the pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and the food industry. What if you took your health into your own hands? What if you started demanding better quality food? What if changing your diet, getting more purposeful movement, and taking a few supplements to support your body's natural functions could change your life forever? What if you could stop taking most, if not all, of your prescription medications because you change your perspective on the foods you are putting in your body? What if…?
Life is a journey. I wish I knew at 20 years of age, what I know now, because maybe I would have reversed the abuse to my body sooner. But there is no sense in lamenting the past. All I can do is push forward and try every day to put into practice this profound information I have learned about how my body works. I can take things one day at a time and help anyone who is listening. I can use my voice to promote eating more vegetables, taking care of your gut microbiome, and eating good fats and less carbohydrates. I can use my voice to inform people about micronutrient depletions that their prescription medications are causing, which can damage their body. I can do what I can, even though I don’t have everything figured out yet.
So, how can I help you PIVOT to functional health and wellness?